This is not how a contender is supposed to act.
The Dylan Johnston rink from Thunder Bay, featuring Devlin native Mike Badiuk at third and Travis Showalter from Nestor Falls at lead, are in an early hole after an 0-2 start yesterday at the men’s provincial playdowns in North Bay.
Coming off last year’s run to the semi-final, the Johnston crew was expected to be in the running again this time around.
But an opening 10-4 loss in seven ends to Jordan Chandler (Sudbury) put the team, which also includes Chris Briand at second, on its heels early.
Looking for redemption in the evening draw against Mike Assad (Geraldton), Johnston started well but couldn’t hold a late lead in falling 8-7.
A three-spot in the ninth end had put Johnston up 7-6.
But Assad capitalized with the hammer in the 10th to score his deuce for the win.
Assad, Chandler, and defending Olympic men’s champ Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie) were in a three-way tie for first at 2-0 heading into play today.
Patrick Gelinas (Mattawa) and Colin Koivula (Thunder Bay) were tied for fourth at 1-1.
Robbie Gordon (Sudbury) and Tanner Horgan (Copper Cliff) joined Johnston in the ranks of the winless.
Johnston faced a mighty challenge in his first game today when he took on Jacobs.
He then goes up against Koivula tonight.